So you're telling me there's a chance

Submitted by taistreetsmyhero on October 27th, 2017 at 12:32 AM

I have a delusional friend who is still holding out hope that we win the Big Ten this year. I told him he is delusional and he hit me with the Dumb and Dumber gif.

So, I decided to quantify his delusion. I went to Massey and calculated the odds that we win the Big Ten based on win probabilities. Edit: I didn't feel like calculating for multiple scenarios; I picked the one with the highest probability of happening based on current projections. (So the actual number may be slightly higher. But when you see the final tally you wi--nevermind, don't want to ruin the fun...)


  • Lose to Northwestern (41%)
  • Beat PSU (16%)
  • Lose to OSU (82%)
  • Lose at least 1/2 to Maryland and Rutgers (9%, and 12%, respectively)
  • Finishes with at least 3 Big Ten losses. Head-to-Head doesn't matter.


  • Lose to OSU (44%)
  • Lose to MSU
  • Lose at least 1/3 to Rutgers, Nebraska, and Maryland, (1%, 3%, and 4%, respectively)
  • Finishes with at least 3 Big Ten losses. Head-to-Head doesn't matter.


  • Beat PSU
  • Lose at least1/2 to Iowa and Illinois (20% and 0%--lol)
  • Beat MSU
  • Lose to Michigan (32%)
  • Finishes with at least 2 Big Ten losses and loses any potential Head-to-Head with us.


  • Beat Rutgers (95%)
  • Beat Minnesota (87%)
  • Beat Maryland (84%)
  • Beat Wisconsin (35%)
  • Beat OSU (W)
  • Finishes with 2 Big Ten losses and wins possible Head-to-Head against OSU.


So, let's multiply all that mess together.

The rough odds for Michigan to win the Big Ten:


His response:

For reference, the punt had a 0.2% chance of happening.



October 27th, 2017 at 8:38 AM ^

I had to guess, this team will benefit from not being part of the division equation.  Of course in an ideal world you are contending, but I kind of feel like due to the makeup of our team it could be helpful to just play right now without really having to look at a big picture.  They are not ready for primetime right now and really just need to work on getting fundamentally better and executing their assignments.  My guess is that the coaches are a little relieved right now that the light is not going to be shining quite so brightly for a few weeks.


October 27th, 2017 at 9:06 AM ^

"But I kind of FEEL like due to the makeup of our team"

You're making me sad with all of your feelings posts.

I just hope Harbaugh can get his fiery attitude back. Something seems different.


October 27th, 2017 at 5:12 PM ^

these guys are just playing.  They're certainly, 100%, not going through this excercise to figure out what their odds are of winning the division.  They're pretty busy with school and practice and girls and getting their own assignments down for Rutgers to care about any of this.

It's just us looking at the big picture.


October 27th, 2017 at 9:05 AM ^

may seem petty, but I really don't want to see Michigan State go to the BIG title game this year.  The worst case scenario that could arise in my mind is a situation in which Michigan State goes to Indy if we win The Game.  I actually might throw up if that is how things play out.


October 27th, 2017 at 10:33 AM ^

Yeah. My thoughts too. It's a possibility for sure. I don't like Penn State but it may be in our best interest if they went again instead of MSU or OSU. Unfortunately, there is no good answer to this but I'm thinking if Penn St. goes to Indy and gets beat by Wisconsin it may be the least shitty.

Sextus Empiricus

October 27th, 2017 at 9:00 PM ^

Who was the last recruit that we lost in the Harbaugh era to MSU?  In fact, who have we really gone toe to toe with MSU over.since the new coaches have come in?

I'm not sure the recruiting is sensitive to the type of losses we have had (marginal, hard to witness but not blowouts.)


October 27th, 2017 at 12:43 AM ^

Did you friend calculate the probability that I would read to the end of this post? 

So I don't mean to hijack this thread, but what's the deal with circus peanuts -- those orange candy peanuts that you sometimes see? Does anybody actually like those things?

True Blue Grit

October 27th, 2017 at 8:27 AM ^

keep stocking them.  Although, now that I think about it, I've never actually seen anyone buying them or eating them.  On a personal note, I despise them.  I remember eating them once when  I was a kid and getting a terrible headache afterwards.  Once or twice as an adult though,  I bought them for my brother as a joke Christmas gift.  


October 27th, 2017 at 2:08 PM ^

I used to work at the factory where they are made. The best way to eat them is still warm. One time I ate some many during a shift I could actually feel cavities forming. Now I think they're disgusting. You really can have too much of a good thing. 

Spangler Candy Co. Bryan, OH. This town also is home to Ohio Art, creators of the Etch-o-Sketch. The more you know. 


October 27th, 2017 at 12:52 AM ^

at least this was kind of a joke instead of some fucking moron posting another "A very unique and revolutionary call for calm" thread. Ive had it up to here with those circle jerks this season.
/steps and trips off lectern

Eye of the Tiger

October 27th, 2017 at 1:01 AM ^

That was just delusional. Preseason we projected to field a talented but young defense with very little depth at key positions (meaning starters would be in for a LOT more snaps than last year), and basically the same on offense but with more uncertainty. The defense has turned out better than expected; the offense has turned out worse than expected; but the balance is not that different from what I consider to have been reasonable expectations. 

We'll probably win 8 games this year and finish 4th in the East. 


October 27th, 2017 at 1:52 AM ^

There is still a lot of football to play, but it would take a huge leap for this season to meet expectations. All anybody talks about is the record. The record is meaningless. We all knew it was a rebuilding year. The key is to demonstrate that we are building towards something.

Everyone expected that next year would be THE YEAR. Now, it is gonna take a hell of a turnaround for that to seem the case. We have as many questions on offense as we did coming into this year. And we've proven that our defense alone can't win big games.



October 27th, 2017 at 9:03 AM ^

seeing how much improvement there was in just a short time, I think it is last year that stands out as the disappointment.  If we beat Iowa or Ohio State last year, one way or another we would have likely been in the Playoff and the critics would have been silenced for a while.  This season would simply not have not had the same amount of importance in terms of outcome.  Last year was the miss, and this year has seemed a lot worse than it should feel because of the emptiness of the ending to last season.


October 27th, 2017 at 9:15 AM ^

I still think the committee would have taken OSU over us due to us losing head ot head.  And I dont think two B1G teams would have gotten in over one of the SEC, ACC and PAC12 champs.


October 27th, 2017 at 9:24 AM ^

think Michigan would have been the 4 seed over Washington and played Alabama in the Peach Bowl.  The BIG was highly thought of at the time by the polsters and the committee.  Assuming the same outcome against Ohio State (close game, OT), I think that a win against Iowa and a loss against OSU would have seen us get in as the 4 seed.  There is no overstating how bad that Iowa loss sucked.


October 27th, 2017 at 5:27 PM ^

would have been in based on their thrashing of a Colorado team that we struggled a bit with, at home.

We would have been 3rd after losing to OSU, but Clemson and UW would have jumped us after their title games just like OSU jumped the idle Big12 teams in 2014.

Iowa loss was made irrelevant by UW.  Had Colorado won the Pac12, and had we beaten Iowa, we would have been in the same way OSU ended up making it (by beating the champion of another P5 conf in non-conf).


October 27th, 2017 at 9:21 AM ^

MSU, OSU, Notre Dame all at home.  2 easy non conference games.  Crossover games are Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.  At Wisconsin is game 3 and B1G opener.  Could be a tough one.  But other road games are at Illinois, at Penn State, at Maryland and at Indiana.  Other than Penn State, should be manageable.

Peters will be a RS Junior and McCaffrey a RS Sophomore.  We will have an entire team of Harbaugh's recruits. 

If we havent made a serious run by then, not sure it is going to happen under Harbaugh.


October 27th, 2017 at 6:36 AM ^

Why can we not struggle on offense this year with all the shitstorm of things ... New passing coord, fresh o-line, new line coach, injured QB, and freshmen WRs ... And instantly be bad next year? Teams don’t always improve over the year before when other factors are involved - like I listed above. The hot take that our record will be worse this year and we don’t look great equals next year can’t be good - I just don’t get it. Teams learn and improve with consistent coaching. Next year’s schedule is tough, but they always are nowadays. Some team always surprises. Some team is scheduled to get playoff hype.

Food for thought ... 96 we went 8-4, were worried about who would QB, and then you know how 97 went. Heck, Sparty went 3-9 last year and now is 6-1 with a favorable schedule to challenge the East.

Perkis-Size Me

October 27th, 2017 at 8:35 AM ^

I see what you're saying about 8-4 or 9-3 being reasonable, but how we're getting there and how we've looked is what I think most everyone is taking issue with. 

I think most people pegged us to lose the PSU, Wisconsin and OSU games this year, and that's more than reasonable. They're either on the road against senior-laden teams or just a full-on five star buzzsaw. But it's not so much the record, but rather how awful we've looked in almost every game this year, and how there appears to be zero improvement from day one on offense. Rather, there appears to be regression. 

Five turnovers to a very meh MSU team, and not just losing to PSU, but getting your fucking teeth kicked in and being outclassed from the first snap onwards. That's what people are mad about. If the team put up a good fight and made it close on the road with the #2 team in the country, people would be nowhere near as upset. If we lost to MSU because they were just the better team, people would be upset, but they'd get over it a lot faster than losing the game because of five turnovers and handing the Paul Bunyan Trophy back to MSU on a silver platter via a red velvet carpet. MSU just got to sit back and watch Michigan implode over and over and over.